Exams (SAT, GRE, etc.) – Online College Blog and School Reviews http://www.online-college-blog.com Wed, 26 Jul 2017 18:10:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 It’s official: the new SAT exam isn’t any better than the old one http://www.online-college-blog.com/credit-for-life-experience/new-sat/ http://www.online-college-blog.com/credit-for-life-experience/new-sat/#comments Sat, 21 Jun 2008 12:52:08 +0000 http://www.online-college-blog.com/index.php/credit-for-life-experience/new-sat/ Well, the experts finally agree with what we always knew… the new SAT isn’t any better at predicting first year college grades than the original SAT exam. More specifically, the addition of a new writing section didn’t have any significant impact on the SAT’s ability to predict the grades of first-year college students.

According to the New America Foundation: the College Board added the writing section to the SAT amid criticism that the old test was not an accurate predictor of college success and that it gave an unfair advantage to wealthier students who could afford coaching. The report, based on the test scores and grades of 150,000 students at schools across the country, found that the new exam is little better than the old one and that high school grades remain the most accurate predictor of academic success for students in their freshman year of college.

Well, folks, that settles it. Your grades are a better indicator of future performance than one single test. No surprise there. Will this give you any sympathy with admissions’ committees if you score poorly? Unlikely…

Source: New America Foundation news roundup, 2008.

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CLEP exams – An “easy” way to get college credit http://www.online-college-blog.com/credit-for-life-experience/clep-forum-blog-prep/ Tue, 18 Mar 2008 15:23:23 +0000 http://www.online-college-blog.com/index.php/exam-sat-gre-gmat-lsat/clep-forum-blog-prep/ CLEP Exams… How I earned 12 hours in one day

I’ve known about CLEP exams for quite a while, but my online semesters are only 8 weeks, so I figured taking the class was easier than cramming for an exam I might not pass anyway. That is, until last week.

I will be graduating in 9 weeks, but I had a few pesky credits to earn in classes I did not want to take. To graduate on time, I decided to give CLEP exams a try. After checking with my college to see what exams would give me the credits I needed, I opted for CLEP Natural Sciences and CLEP Analyzing and Interpreting Literature. Each one of these exams is worth 6 credit hours… provided you score a 50.

For the Natural Sciences CLEP, I spent 3 weeks studying. For the Analyzing and Interpreting Literature CLEP, I spent about 30 minutes studying. Last week, I made an appointment to take both CLEPs on the same day (each CLEP is 90 minutes in length)… and I passed them both. I have to say, earning 12 credit hours in one day (or 3 weeks if you count the study time) is a great feeling.

UPDATE 3/31/08: I also just received 3 credit hours in Public Speaking (WOO HOO!) by taking the DSST Public Speaking exam. Here’s an earlier post on DSST exams (formerly DANTES exams) which are open to both civilians and military personnel: DANTES / DSST exams.

Studying for a CLEP Exam

There are tons of study aides on the market to help you study for a CLEP exam. I used the following publishers to help me with my exams:

  • Peterson’s – Their practice exams WILL prepare you better than any other practice exams on the market
  • REA – Their review books are useful, but unless you have a strong background in the subject, I would not use them as your only resource.
  • Wikipedia – Great resource for understanding concepts in greater depth

CLEP Checklist

  1. First, check with your school. Each school specifies the minimum score and credit to be granted. If you aren’t enrolled at a school yet, a score of 50 or above will typically be enough to earn credit.
  2. Purchase or borrow study materials (Amazon is a good place to start)
  3. Take practice exams (like Peterson’s) and be sure to read all the answer explanations, especially the ones you missed.
  4. Once you are confident that you know the material (and are making decent scores on practice exams), schedule your exam at a local college or testing center.

There are dozens of CLEP exams available in the following categories:

  • Business
  • Foreign Languages 
  • Composition
  • Literature
  • History
  • Social Sciences
  • Science
  • Math 

Related posts:


DANTES / DSST exams : Even civilians can earn college credit! http://www.online-college-blog.com/portfolio-for-life-experience-credit/dantes-dsst-exams-even-civilians-can-earn-college-credit/ Wed, 16 Jan 2008 21:51:31 +0000 http://www.online-college-blog.com/index.php/life-experience-credit/dantes-dsst-exams-even-civilians-can-earn-college-credit/ If you are like me, you look for ways to save money when attending college. Although most of us know to shop for used textbooks and test out of courses with CLEP exams, those of us with no military background may have little, if any, knowledge of DANTES/DSST exams. 

Until recently, DANTES exams (now known as DSST exams) were only for military personnel. Lucky for us civilians, now we get to take advantage of these exams, too! Why is this a good thing? More choices, of course! 

I stumbled onto this knowledge just this week when I was looking for a way to test out of my required Public Speaking course. My first choice was Portfolio credit (life experience credit) since I have extensive public speaking experience, but unfortunately, Columbia College doesn’t offer life experience credit for Public Speaking. They do, however, award credit for the DSST exam, Principles of Public Speaking. 🙂 Since no CLEP exam exists for Speech/Public Speaking, you can see why looking into DANTES/DSST exams is a good thing! 

UPDATE 3/31/08: I just received my score back on the DSST Public Speaking exam and I passed. Woo hoo! I highly recommend this exam to ANYONE wanting to test out of a required speech course. That said, check with your school first! Columbia College honors DANTES/DSST exam credit, but your institution might not.

DANTES exam / DSST exam subjects:

  1. Fundamentals of College Algebra
  2. Principles of Statistics
  3. Art of the Western World
  4. Western Europe Since 1945
  5. Introduction to the Modern Middle East
  6. Human/Cultural Geography
  7. Rise and Fall of the Soviet Union
  8. A History of the Vietnam War
  9. The Civil War and Reconstruction
  10. Foundations of Education
  11. Lifespan Developmental Psychology
  12. General Anthropology
  13. Drug and Alcohol Abuse
  14. Introduction to Law Enforcement
  15. Criminal Justice
  16. Fundamentals of Counseling
  17. Principles of Finance
  18. Principles of Financial Accounting
  19. Human Resource Management
  20. Organizational Behavior
  21. Principles of Supervision
  22. Business Law II
  23. Introduction to Computing
  24. Introduction to Business
  25. Money and Banking
  26. Personal Finance
  27. Management Information Systems
  28. Business Mathematics
  29. Astronomy
  30. Here’s to Your Health
  31. Environment and Humanity: The Race to Save the Planet
  32. Principles of Physical Science I
  33. Physical Geology
  34. Technical Writing
  35. Ethics in America
  36. Introduction to World Religions
  37. Principles of Public Speaking

Related posts:

  1. CLEP exams: An “easy” way to earn college credit
  2. CLEP exams save time and money
  3. Life experience and online learning
  4. Illustrative example of how online learning credits may be awarded
  5. 10 Online colleges offering credit for life experience


Source: DSST exam website

MBA admissions for low GMAT or GPA applicants http://www.online-college-blog.com/credit-for-life-experience/mba-admissions-for-low-gmat-or-gpa-applicants/ Wed, 21 Nov 2007 17:43:58 +0000 http://www.online-college-blog.com/index.php/exam-sat-gre-gmat-lsat/mba-admissions-for-low-gmat-or-gpa-applicants/ Are your numbers really so bad? It may be difficult to find average GPAs, but if you have a 2.6, you know it’s low for almost any MBA program. Roughly, except for the most elite schools, a GPA below 3.0 warrants a deliberate effort to counterbalance.

Looking closely at your numbers

Which numbers are low – GMAT, GPA, or both? If only one of these numbers is low, at least the other number demonstrates your academic ability. Some people are simply not great standardized test-takers. A low GPA often is attributable to the simple fact that college students are still growing up. In fact, a 3.0 GPA that starts out below 3.0 and trends upward consistently, with the final semester or two in the 3.5 range or higher, is not nearly as worrisome as a GPA that trends in the opposite direction.

If both numbers are low, how do they break down? If your GMAT quant score was high and you had solid grades in quant courses in college, that’s a plus, because MBA adcoms always look for evidence that the applicant can handle the mathematics involved. If it’s the quant side that drags the numbers down, it’s more of a problem. The point is, read the nuances of your scores. Assess and interpret the picture that emerges. Then develop an application strategy to address that issue. Low numbers vary significantly in the impression they create, depending on the details.

Addressing low quant scores

Register at your local community college ASAP for calculus and/or statistics if you haven’t taken them — and earn an A! If you earned a D or F in other quant-oriented courses, consider re-taking them as well. If you have time to take additional quant-oriented courses, such as finance or accounting, it will help even more. In your essays, highlight quantitative aspects of your work to demonstrate proficiency. If you have some say in what your recommenders write, ask them to confirm your quantitative ability.

Addressing low verbal scores

Consistently low verbal scores will raise a red flag. Your essays are the ideal place to neutralize this concern. They should be expressive and flawlessly written. You also should select examples and anecdotes that highlight your communication skills. So excellent essays are a must. Looking beyond the essays, ask recommenders to comment positively on your verbal skills. Finally, you can take a course at a local college that involves substantial writing, either business related or other.

Evaluating the numbers in the context of your demographic profile

You must first understand your demographic profile vis-a-vis the MBA applicant pool for your chosen school(s). Regardless of how rare a demographic profile may be, an adcom will not admit an applicant if it believes he cannot handle the coursework. Beyond that, it’s really a matter of supply-and-demand. Demographics encompass your ethnicity, nationality, gender, and industry background. It is well known that Indian engineers and computer scientists with high numbers are over-represented in the applicant pool, as are white and Asian male investment bankers with high numbers.

Using your essays to counteract the low numbers

With low numbers, your first hurdle is demonstrating you’re qualified. Your low scores may now be “understandable,” but they won’t excite the adcom, so your work experience must. “Mine” your work experience for all evidence of accomplishment, leadership, and impact. Show through anecdotes and examples that you are a person who makes a difference on the job beyond what’s expected. Exceptional contribution and leadership as a volunteer or in another non-work activity also serve this purpose, though with the low numbers, strong work experience is still essential.

Selecting the right schools

All schools do not give the “pillars” of your application – GMAT, GPA, work experience – the same weight. Columbia and Stanford will put more weight on the GMAT and/or GPA than others. Some will be more interested in the specific qualities, experience, and demographic factors you bring than will others. Select programs that meet your learning needs. Then focus on those that take a more holistic view of applicants and/or those that favor your distinguishing characteristics.

The optional essay

If your numbers are below the 80% range, they warrant an acknowledgement and an explanation. Similarly, if extenuating circumstances caused the low numbers, those circumstances are an important part of your profile. The optional essay is often the place to make these statements. If you write the optional essay, make it short and straightforward. Provide a brief explanation, take responsibility, and focus on evidence of your talents that counters the impression made by the low stats.

Creating a thoughtful strategy to counteract the effect of low numbers can transform you from a non-viable to a viable applicant at the schools of your choice. However, it’s up to you to show the adcom that the numbers don’t define you.

Prepare For The GMAT Test

Related posts:


About the Author: Adrien Brody  runs an informational website that provides guides to business school and business education.

GMAT – Top 10 methods to improve your math skills http://www.online-college-blog.com/credit-for-life-experience/gmat-top-10-best-methods-to-improve-your-mathematical-skills/ Tue, 13 Nov 2007 03:20:25 +0000 http://www.online-college-blog.com/index.php/archives/114 A high score on the GMAT exam is essential to gain admission into top business schools. The GMAT exam is made up of three parts: GMAT Verbal, GMAT Math and Analytical Writing. Usually GMAT Exam takers have years of training and practice in the verbal and writing part. However, the same is not true for GMAT Math. A high GMAT score, therefore, is largely dependent on a high GMAT Math score. What can students do to get a high score in GMAT Math? What are the best methods and strategies that are taught in effective GMAT Courses? The top 10 strategies for GMAT math preparation are listed below. 

High School Math

The areas in math tested in the GMAT exam are not different from what one has learned in high school. In fact, the syllabus of GMAT Math is shorter than what one may have studied many years ago in the school. The problem is that one may not easily remember or recall what one has seen several years ago. A good GMAT course, either self-made or through review classroom, should therefore, first emphasize and help recall what one already knows. Therefore, to get started, GMAT aspirants should simply pull out old high school books and familiarize themselves with formulas and concepts described there.

Different Format

While the GMAT course content is limited and based on high school math, what makes the GMAT exam difficult is the way questions are asked. How often is an individual required to resolve a ‘data-sufficiency’ question, either during high school days or now? Never! Similarly, the word problems in the GMAT Exam require a good understanding of the way the question is being asked. Needless to say, a majority of high GMAT scorers do familiarize and train themselves in understanding the format of GMAT exam and practice working within the framework of the GMAT format.

Computer-adaptive Test

The GMAT Math is not only different in the way questions are asked, but the order and difficulty of GMAT math is also very unique. Experts contend that a high GMAT score is dependent on the ability to tackle the adaptive style of the GMAT exam. Since the level of difficulty of a regular question is dependent on correctness of the previous response, all test-takers feel challenged when taking the GMAT exam in the computer adaptive environment. Thus, learning how to face difficult testing conditions may have many advantages. In short, students may want to build stamina to deal with hard GMAT Math questions without feeling stressed out.

Word Problems

Studies have shown that students, who get high GMAT score, are extremely good at solving the word problems. There are two reasons for that: (1) about one-third of all GMAT math questions are word-problems and (2) cracking word-problems does not require learning a new math topic. Experts conclude that high scorers have one thing in common – they have mastered the art of translating the given GMAT Math problem from English statements (word and sentences) to arithmetic / algebra forms thus making it mathematically solvable. The rule of thumb is simple: translate word problems verbatim in the same order. Upon correct translation, one could see how difficult looking problems become simple and solvable. All good GMAT course train GMAT exam takers in the word problem transformation process.

Practice, Practice and Practice

It may sound like a cliché, but the truth remains that practicing is the key to get a high GMAT score. Popular GMAT courses can only offer a limited number of contact hours. The number of hours spent in the review classroom or with the instructor / tutor can never be adequate. While most GMAT courses are helpful in exposing you with basics of the GMAT exam, no GMAT course can guarantee you a high GMAT score unless you spend dozens of hours every week practicing new tips & tactics in GMAT Math. On the conservative side, one may require over 2 months to practice and over 3 practice tests to fully realize one’s potential and score high in the GMAT Exam. 

Study Aids

Students (and in some cases, new instructors) often search for the “best” book on GMAT math. Nowadays, with so many other medium to learn from, for example GMAT CD / DVD, GMAT exam toolkit, Flashcard, Audio-book etc. the search for the one “best” study aid has become even more challenging and confusing. It is, however ironical that despite differences of opinion on the “best” source, most of the study aids are very good and no single tool may be “best” or “perfect” or “complete”. Students interested in obtaining a high GMAT score, therefore, are recommended to: (1) choose a GMAT course that provides maximum number of contact hours, (2) purchase a GMAT book or CD or DVD toolkit which is popular and readily available, (3) use 1 and 2 from different sources i.e., book or CD from company A and classroom review course from company B. 

GMAT Math preparation time

No matter how dedicated and hard working one may be, a high GMAT math score cannot be earned overnight. One may need over 2 hours of GMAT math practice for over 2 months. For those who feel that their preparedness for GMAT exam is weak, or those who really require a very high GMAT score for top business schools, it is recommended that they study for about 3 hours or more everyday for 3 months or more. It is better to spread one’s study hours and days over a long period of time. For example 2 hours of study over a 5-day period is more beneficial than studying for 10 hours in a single day. Human mind, can best learn and apply those learning, if it is trained slowly. Without doubt, the GMAT Exam requires a lot of learning and training of mind.

Day before the GMAT Exam

All the stories about overnight miracle are untrue and therefore it is not helpful to study for long hours on the day of the exam or on the previous day of the exam. In fact, the counter-intuitive prescription is truer. In order to get a high GMAT score with one’s level of knowledge and preparedness, one should STOP studying for GMAT math 2 days before the actual GMAT exam. By studying close to the actual exam or attending crash sessions of GMAT course, one may be doing more harm than benefit from it. Scholars in educational psychology have maintained this premise for years. Test-takers must follow it in order to get a high GMAT score in the GMAT exam.

Take practice tests

All students want to get a high GMAT score and most of them prepare in that direction (for example by taking an expensive GMAT course) but not all of them do well in the GMAT math. The GMAT exam is as much about the substance as it is about style. Theoretical knowledge of the format, and familiarity with topics and types of questions asked in the exam is necessary, but not sufficient. What is really needed is actual practice with real GMAT like tests. The more practice tests one takes, the more comfortable one becomes with the pressure, stress, format, timing, one’s strength and weaknesses. This in turn may help the said student align his/her energies in the right direction and secure a high GMAT score. 

Don’t stress out over the GMAT exam

Without dispute, a high GMAT score may bring a clear advantage over other candidates who have similar credentials but a lower score. And a high score in GMAT math is critical for high score in the overall exam. However, having said that, one is not required to kill oneself for not being able to do so. There are other factors that go in the GMAT exam, in the admission to business school, and in life in general. One should work smart, and work hard, but not at the cost of other good things in life. Good luck!

Prepare For The GMAT Test


About the Author: A Senior Associate (Development & Quality) at Win Education Service India, Sudeshna Sonal Kumari has tutored GMAT for over 7 years. Rewarded with the ‘Most popular instructor’ title by students in 2005 and 2006, she has lead a 5-member business development team in developing gmat course material and marketing plan for the WinGMAT education services. Under her leadership, WinGMAT has seen an increase in enrollment by 15% on an annualized basis.

Save on SAT and ACT exam preps! http://www.online-college-blog.com/credit-for-life-experience/save-on-college-entrance-exam-preps/ Fri, 12 Oct 2007 18:45:06 +0000 http://www.online-college-blog.com/index.php/archives/66 Just a heads-up for those of you who are needing to prepare for the ACT or SAT:

Peterson’s is offering a 10% discount on all exam preps using the following coupon code: PREPARE. The coupon is good until December 31, 2007.

Prepare For The ACT Test

Prepare For The SAT Test


About the GRE exam http://www.online-college-blog.com/credit-for-life-experience/about-the-gre/ Sat, 22 Sep 2007 02:08:26 +0000 http://www.online-college-blog.com/index.php/archives/33 Overview

The GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) General Test is a standardized entrance exam used by many graduate schools. Your results indicate how likely you are to succeed in graduate-level studies. The exam is generally administered by computer, but you have the option of taking the test on paper if you live in an area where computer administration is unavailable.

The GRE Analytical Writing section tests your ability to think critically and write analytically. It does not test specific content knowledge from any particular subject.

The GRE Verbal section tests your ability to comprehend and analyze reading passages on a variety of subjects in the humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences. You will also be tasked with showing how well you understand the relationships between words and concepts.

The GRE Quantitative section tests your basic mathematical skills and your ability to solve problems. Material covers arithmetic, geometry, algebra, and data analysis.

Prepare For The GRE Test


Each of the two essays in the Analytical Writing section is scored on a scale of 1 to 6. The two scores are then averaged together. The Verbal and Quantitative sections are scored on a scale of 200-800.

Need-to-Know GRE Tips & Strategies

  • Prepare with a Practice Test

Practice tests are an ideal way to begin your preparation. They’re affordable and will give you instant results to see how you might score if the test were today. You’ll learn your strengths and weakness, and be able to develop a personalized study plan. Try prepping with Peterson’s practice tests for the GRE.

  • Get to know your test

You won’t get any extra time to read the directions during the exam, so make sure you’re familiar with them before you take it.

  • Relax the night before the test

Don’t cram. Studying at the last minute will only stress you out. Go to a movie or hang out with a friend, anything to get your mind off of the test!

  • Antonyms

Keep in mind that many words have more than one meaning. If no choice seems to have the opposite meaning, think of other meanings for the question word.

  • Analogies

Because the questions are so short, use analogies as a time saver. If you can do them quickly (and correctly!) you will have more time to spend on the lengthier reading comprehension questions. If you are having trouble determining the relationship of the first pair of words, try examining them in reverse order. But remember, you must then look at the answer choices the same way!

  • Sentence completion

Don’t look at the choices until you’ve read the sentence and tried to guess what the missing word or words should be. Then scan the answers, looking for the one that means the same as your guess.

  • Reading comprehension

Read the questions first; that way, you’ll quickly recognize important information when you read the passage.

  • Multiple-choice math

If the answer choices are close together, like 267, 369, 270, 272, and 273, you will need a fairly precise answer. If, however, they are far apart, like 110, 282, 468, 687, and 792, feel free to work with approximate numbers. You’ll probably come up with an answer that is close enough to pick the right answer.

  • Quantitative comparison

If both columns of a quantitative comparison contain the same variable, like x, try plugging in a few values for the unknown.

  • Analytical Writing

Concentrate on the elements on which you’ll be scored: your critical thinking and analytical writing skills. Grammar and mechanics are not emphasized.

Prepare For The GRE Test

To find an online program, perform an online degree search.


About the SAT exam http://www.online-college-blog.com/credit-for-life-experience/about-the-sat/ http://www.online-college-blog.com/credit-for-life-experience/about-the-sat/#comments Sat, 22 Sep 2007 02:01:50 +0000 http://www.online-college-blog.com/index.php/archives/32 Overview

The SAT is a standard college entrance exam that measures skills in math, reading, and writing. The first section is always a written essay, which takes 25 minutes, and the last section is always a multiple-choice writing section, which takes 10 minutes. The other parts of the test consist of six 25-minute sections and two 20-minute sections and can appear in any order. One of the 25-minute sections (you won’t know which) will not count toward your score; it is used to try out questions for future SATs. Total test time is 3 hours and 45 minutes.

The SAT Critical Reading sections present you with reading comprehension questions about full-length and paragraph-length passages. They also include sentence completions.

The SAT Writing sections include multiple-choice questions on grammar, usage, word choice, and organization. The essay section asks you to respond to a prompt by developing a point of view supported by clear, well-organized ideas based on your experience and observations.

The SAT Math sections include multiple-choice questions and grid-in questions, which require you to generate a response. Topics include: numbers and operations; algebra and functions; geometry and measurement; and statistics, probability, and data analysis.

Prepare For The SAT Test


Each section (Critical Reading, Writing, and Math) is scored on a scale of 200 to 800. Essays, a sub-section of Writing, are graded on a scale of 2 to 12.

Need-to-Know Tips and Strategies for the SAT

Prepare with a Practice Test

Practice tests are an ideal way to begin your preparation. They;re affordable and will give you instant results to see how you might score if the test were today. You’ll learn your strengths and weakness, and be able to develop a personalized study plan. Try prepping with Peterson’s practice tests for the SAT.

Don’t cram

You are being tested on knowledge that you have accumulated over the course of the year. Studying at the last minute will only stress you out. Go to a movie or hang out with a friend—anything to get your mind off of the test!

Critical Reading: Sentence Completions

Sentence completions test both your vocabulary and your understanding of the logic of a sentence. Each question is a sentence containing either one or two blanks. Your job is to figure out which answer correctly completes the sentence. As you read, try to predict what word should go in each blank. Sometimes you can guess the meaning of one blank, but not the other. In that case, scan the answer choices, look for a word similar to the one you’ve predicted, and then eliminate the answer choices that don’t match up.

Critical Reading: Reading Comprehension

The Critical Reading test now includes both long and short reading passages. Skim each passage to see what it’s about. Don’t worry about the details, you can always look them up later if you need to. Just look for the main ideas. Then tackle the questions that direct you straight to the answer by referring you to a specific line in the passage. If you have time afterward, you can try solving the harder questions.

Writing: Multiple-Choice Questions

There are three types of multiple-choice writing questions on the SAT. The first group, Improving Sentences, tasks you with selecting the correct version, the one that is clearly written and grammatically correct of an underlined portion of a sentence. Sentence Error questions ask you to figure out which part of a sentence contains an error. Those on Improving Paragraphs test your ability to organize and clarify information. For all of these question types, think about the simplest, clearest way to express an idea. If an answer choice sounds awkward or overly complicated, chances are good that it’s wrong.

Writing: Essay

You will be given an open-ended essay prompt (topic) that asks you to state a viewpoint and support it. Essays are scored holistically, which means that the final score is based on an overall impression. It is important to develop your ideas and express them clearly, using examples to back them up. Your essay does not have to be grammatically perfect, but it does have to be focused and organized. The standard five-paragraph essay can be an effective way to make your point.

Math: Multiple-Choice Questions

As you work through the multiple-choice math questions, you’ll be given reference information (formulas and facts), but you’ll need to know how to use them. You’re allowed to use a calculator, but it won’t help you unless you know how to approach the problems. If you’re stuck, try substituting numbers for variables. You can also try plugging in numbers from the answer choices. Start with the middle number. That way, if it doesn’t work, you can strategically choose one that’s higher or lower.

Math: Grid-Ins

These questions are not multiple-choice – you come up with an answer and fill it into a grid. The grid does not contain a minus sign, so there is no way to indicate that a value is less than zero. That means that an answer can’t be a negative number. Unlike the multiple-choice questions, you won’t be penalized for wrong answers, so make your best guess even if you’re not sure. You can’t grid mixed numbers, so if you get a mixed number as an answer, you’ll have to convert it to an improper fraction or a decimal.

Prepare For The SAT Test

To find a specific online degree program to meet your needs, perform an online degree search.


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About the GMAT exam http://www.online-college-blog.com/credit-for-life-experience/about-the-gmat/ Sat, 22 Sep 2007 01:52:30 +0000 http://www.online-college-blog.com/index.php/archives/31 Overview

The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) measures basic verbal, mathematical, and analytical writing skills learned in school. It does not measure job skills, knowledge of business, specific classroom content, or subjective qualities like creativity or leadership skills. The test is broken up into three sections.

The Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) measures your ability to think about and communicate ideas in essay format. The ideas found in this section are on topics of general interest, and don’t require knowledge or expertise in specific subjects. The AWA includes two writing tasks: Analysis of an Issue and Analysis of an Argument. In the Analysis of an Issue task, you will analyze an issue and write an essay explaining your views. In the Analysis of an Argument task, you must analyze the reasoning behind an argument, and write a critical essay. Your personal views are not a consideration.

The Verbal section of the GMAT includes three different types of questions: Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning, and Sentence Correction.

The Quantitative (Math) section contains questions which measure basic math skills, understanding of elementary concepts, and the ability to reason quantitatively. The questions cover three basic areas: Arithmetic, Algebra, and Geometry.

Prepare For The GMAT Test


The GMAT is a computer-adaptive test, or CAT. This means that unlike a paper-and-pencil test, the next question is always determined on the spot, pulled from a large bank of questions inside the computer. Based on your answers, you will either see more or less difficult questions, which will have an impact on your score. Overall scores on the test range between 200 and 800. The final score is determined by your performance on the Verbal and Quantitative sections, and is accompanied by a percentile rank. The average score is 500.

An Analytical Writing Assessment score is provided separately. Either two independent readers, or one reader and computerized essay-scoring software will score each essay. A third reader is used if the first two are too far apart. Each essay is assigned a score between 0 and 6, with 6 being “Outstanding”, and 0 being “Unscorable”. You will also receive a Verbal subscore, ranging from 0 to 60.

Need-to-Know GMAT Tips & Strategies

Prepare with a Practice Test
Practice tests are an ideal way to begin your preparation. They’re affordable and will give you instant results to see how you might score if the test were today. You’ll learn your strengths and weakness, and be able to develop a personalized study plan. Try prepping with Peterson’s practice tests for the GMAT.

Approach the test with a plan
Spend enough time preparing that you know where your strengths and weaknesses lie. You know you’re going to face geometry questions in the Quantitative section; are you strong with triangles and quadrilaterals, but weak with circles? Having this kind of understanding can help you decide where to focus your energies. Why spend 8 minutes stressing out over a question when there’s a good chance you’ll get it wrong, no matter what? The only way you’ll be able to use your time wisely on test day is to know your abilities beforehand.

Be well-rehearsed
Practice makes permanence! If you set aside time in a quiet place to take some practice GMAT exams, you’ll be ready for the rigors of sitting in a chair and focusing on test material for a few hours. Since this skill doesn’t come naturally to most people, why not practice? You can also use this opportunity to assess where you need to spend more time studying.

Reading Comprehension
As you read each passage, look for its main ideas. Remember, everything the author writes is there for a reason, and these reasons are generally more important than the details in the passage. As you read, take notes about the main ideas and structure of the passage on scrap paper. Learn the most common types of wrong answers used by the test writers and how to avoid choosing them.

Sentence Corrections
About one-fifth of the sentences will be correct as is. A good way to identify them is to read the sentences “aloud” in your mind. If you read one that sounds OK, it probably is. A tightly worded sentence is generally considered more effective, so, all things being equal, choose the shortest answer.

Critical Reasoning
Learn to recognize the key elements of any argument – evidence, conclusion, and assumptions. Remember that when a statement makes the conclusion more likely to be true, then that statement strengthens the argument. When a statement makes the conclusion less likely to be true, the statement weakens the argument. Learn the types of fallacies that appear most often on the exam so you can recognize them when you see them. Forget what you know or think about a given topic; instead, respond to the question in terms of the argument presented.

Multiple-choice questions in the Quantitative section
Break word problems into simple phrases that you can translate into numbers or symbols. Search geometry diagrams for answer clues, and sketch your own when necessary. On graph interpretation problems, spend 30 seconds examining the graphs before tackling the questions. Don’t be afraid to “guesstimate” or look for shortcuts; many questions have them.

Data Sufficiency
Learn the directions and answer choices backward and forward before the test date, since the answer choices are the same for every data sufficiency question. Tackle each item by examining the question, considering each numbered statement individually, and then combining the two statements. Don’t make any assumptions not stated in the question or the numbered statements. Remember: you do not have to find solutions; you just need to determine if the situation presented in the question can be solved.

Analytical Writing
Use the four-step process to manage your time and effort effectively:  brainstorm, outline, write, and revise. Keep your essay simple and make sure your point of view comes through clearly. Be specific, vary sentence length, and avoid mechanical errors.

Prepare For The GMAT Test

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About the ACT exam http://www.online-college-blog.com/credit-for-life-experience/act-exam/ Sat, 22 Sep 2007 01:40:01 +0000 http://www.online-college-blog.com/index.php/archives/30 Overview

The ACT is a standardized college entrance exam that measures your knowledge and skills in English, mathematics, reading, and science reasoning, as well as your ability to apply these skills to future academic tasks. The ACT includes four multiple-choice tests that cover each subject. There is also an optional 30-minute Writing test.

The ACT English Test consists of five passages of nonfiction prose. Each passage is followed by 15 questions about how it is written. Some questions ask you to choose the selection that best rephrases an underlined portion of the passage, and others ask about its overall organization.

The ACT Mathematics Test is designed to test your knowledge of the basic facts and skills taught in most high school math programs. The test utilizes various problem types, including some word problems, problems that involve reading and interpreting graphs and charts, geometry problems, trigonometry problems, and a few straightforward arithmetic and algebra problems.

The ACT Reading Test includes four passages. One is a fictional narrative; the others are nonfiction discussions of topics from the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities. A group of questions designed to test how well you understood the information follows each passage.

The ACT Science Reasoning Test presents you with seven sets of science information, which can be presented in the form of graphs, tables, charts, or diagrams; descriptions of experimental studies and results; and presentations of differing theories or hypotheses about a particular scientific topic. Each passage is followed by several questions that require you to demonstrate your understanding of the subject and interpret the information that was presented.

The optional ACT Writing Test consists of one essay question. The question defines an issue and then presents two points of view. In your essay, you must declare your position and support your opinion with reasons and details. You may choose one of the perspectives presented in the prompt or present a new perspective of your own. You will be graded on your ability to express a position; maintain focus; develop and support your ideas; organize your thoughts logically; and use language clearly and effectively.

Prepare For The ACT Test


Each of the four standard test sections (English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science Reasoning) is scored on a scale of 1-36. You will also receive a composite score, which is the average of your four test scores. If you take the Writing test, you will receive a Writing test subscore (ranging from 2 to 12) and a combined English/Writing score (ranging from 1 to 36), along with comments about your essay.

Need-to-Know Tips & Strategies for the ACT

Prepare with a Practice Test
Practice tests are an ideal way to begin your preparation. They’re affordable and will give you instant results to see how you might score if the test were today. You’ll learn your strengths and weakness, and be able to develop a personalized study plan. Try prepping with Peterson’s practice tests for the ACT.

Relax the night before the test
Don’t cram. You are being tested on knowledge that you have accumulated over the course of the year. Studying at the last minute will only stress you out. Go to a movie or hang out with a friend—anything to get your mind off of the test!

When searching for sentence errors, start by reading the sentence or paragraph carefully, listening for it; usually the word or phrase that contains an error will sound wrong. If none are apparent, look for the four most common types of errors: errors in the relationship between the verb and its subject; pronoun errors; sentence structure errors; and awkwardness, verbosity, and incorrect use of idioms.

As soon as you find the right answer, mark it and move on; there are no degrees of rightness to be considered. Marking up diagrams or sketching simple drawings when none are available can help you. The questions generally focus on mathematical reasoning, not your ability to perform calculations; if you find yourself spending too much time doing figuring, then you’ve probably overlooked a simple shortcut.

Use the three-stage method (previewing, reading, and reviewing) to get the most out of each reading passage. Focus on the big ideas in each passage, not the small details. Look for connections among ideas in each passage. To help you find answers quickly, take notes as you read, marking the main ideas or connections with your pencil.

Critical Reasoning
Learn to recognize the key elements of any argument – evidence, conclusion, and assumptions. Remember that when a statement makes the conclusion more likely to be true, then that statement strengthens the argument. When a statement makes the conclusion less likely to be true, the statement weakens the argument. Learn the types of fallacies that appear most often on the exam so you can recognize them when you see them. Forget what you know or think about a given topic; instead, respond to the question in terms of the argument presented.

Science Reasoning
Use the three-stage method (previewing, reading, reviewing) to get the most out of each science reasoning passage. In data representation passages, focus on what is being measured, relationships among variables, and trends in data. Don’t be confused by irrelevant information or technical terminology, most science reasoning passages have them, and they can almost always be ignored.

Math: Multiple-Choice Questions
As you work through the multiple-choice math questions, you’ll be given reference information (formulas and facts), but you’ll need to know how to use them. You’re allowed to use a calculator, but, again, it won’t help you unless you know how to approach the problems. If you’re stuck, try substituting numbers for variables. You can also try plugging in numbers from the answer choices. Start with the middle number. That way, if it doesn’t work, you can strategically choose one that’s higher or lower.

Writing (Optional)
Essays are scored holistically, which means that the final score is based on an overall impression. One way to create a good impression is to organize your ideas into a standard essay format. A well-organized essay consists of four to five paragraphs, including an introduction, supporting paragraphs, and a conclusion. Aim to have at least two body paragraphs to develop and support your ideas.

Prepare For The ACT Test

For information about specific online degree programs, perform and online degree search.


CLEP exams save time and money http://www.online-college-blog.com/portfolio-for-life-experience-credit/clep-exams/ Wed, 12 Sep 2007 19:22:43 +0000 http://www.online-college-blog.com/index.php/archives/18 College Level Examination Program Exams, or CLEP exams, are educational exams designed by the College Board, makers of the SAT. Generally, CLEP exams are 90 minutes in length and include multiple-choice and fill-in-the-blank questions, with the exception of the English Composition with Essay exam. The current fee for a CLEP exam is $65, which is a small price to pay considering the cost of tuition these days. I’m testing out of two science courses at my college, so I am saving $1,200 in tuition costs and about $150 in books!

Basically, CLEP exams loosely follow the material offered in entry-level college classes. A CLEP exam may be based on a single  semester course, a two-semester course, or even a two-year course (foreign languages, etc.). Depending on your college (or future college), you may be awarded three, six, or even 12 hours of credit for each CLEP exam.

Nearly 3,000 colleges and universities accept CLEP exams for college credit. Although the American Council on Education recommends minimum scores for awarding credit, it is the institutions themselves that ultimately determine the minimum score for credit to be awarded, as well as the amount of credit granted for each CLEP exam.

CLEP Exams are currently available for the following subjects:

  • Business
  • Foreign Languages 
  • Composition
  • Literature
  • History
  • Social Sciences
  • Science
  • Math

CLEP Exam Preps 

Important considerations

  • Colleges and universities vary in their treatment of CLEP exams. Review your college’s CLEP policies to find out what exams you may take, the scores you must receive, and any applicable deadlines/requirements. 
  • Remember that some colleges offer alternative credit for life experience without taking a CLEP exam. For example, if you are a small business owner, you may be able to get management and accounting credit, depending on your institution. If you are a human resources manager, you might be able to receive alternative portfolio credit as well. It will vary by institution. Sometimes, you may just be awarded elective credit for alternative learning, but either way, you are saving time and money!

Related posts:

  1. CLEP exams:  How I earned 12 credit hours in one day
  2. Life experience and online learning
  3. Illustrative example of how online learning credits may be awarded
  4. Life experience degrees